Galapagos sea lions hold epic burping contest on hijacked barge
Sea lions are truly comical characters that can be found on almost all beaches and rocky shorelines around the Galapagos Islands. They are very similar in looks and personalities to those loveable canine companions that we are so familiar with. In fact, they are often referred to as "sea dogs" or "ocean puppies".
These sea lions have taken over a barge at the dock on Santa Cruz Island. The males are gigantic, weighing in at over 140kg (320lbs) and the females are at least half that size. The young sea lions are much smaller and much more playful than the adults.
The constant calling and grunting of the sea lions fills the air and when we listen, we can't help but be reminded of high school burping contests. And if that's what this is, any one of these seal lions could be the champion.
The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most diverse and unique creatures on the planet. They are "islands born of fire", created when pillars of rock rose from the sea floor due to volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Cut off from the rest of the world, these new islands were barren and hostile. Fresh water was scarce and animals could not survive here. But, over time, birds and marine creatures found this world and they began colonizing the rocks. Wind erosion, rain, and the droppings of birds created enough soil to sustain life and the first plants began to grow.
The ocean currents converge here, bringing an abundance of fish and other ocean life. This in turn provided food for animals such as the sea lions. They spend a good deal of their day resting and burping but they hunt for octopus, fish, eels, and other food throughout the day. Incredibly graceful in the water, they are formidable predators. But on land, they are adorably clumsy.
Any trip to the Galapagos Islands is made more memorable due to these hilarious sea dogs and their antics.